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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns

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Index / Economy /
Open map of QatarFlag of QatarQatar /

1. General tendencies
2. Economic structures
3. Oil and Gas
4. Industries
5. Agriculture and Fishing
6. Tourism
7. Imports and Exports
8. Living standards
9. State economy
10. Health of currency

Qatar 10 riyal
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Key figures
GDP per capita
World average: +900%.
MENA rank: 1 of 23.
US$91.6 billion.
MENA rank: 12 of 23.
List of figuresAll other figures
7.0 points of 10 max.
World rank: 22 of 180.
MENA rank: 1 of 21.
Investment friendly
World rank: 37 of 181.
MENA rank: 4 of 21.
Economic freedom
65.8 points of 100 max.
World rank: 48 of 179.
MENA rank: 4 of 19.
Value of Currency
Fixed rate:
US$1=3.64 Rials

Qatar 5 riyal
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Qatar 1 riyal
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General tendencies
Qatar has a very strong economy, benefitting greatly from its petroleum sector compared to a small population. Many programs to diversify the economy have been launched, aiming at attracting foreign investments.
Substantial initiatives have been launched to allow more Qataris into leading positions in businesses. Along with this, stricter policies on immigration have also been launched.

Economic structures
For foreign investors, Qatar is offering tax exemptions for 12 years, and foreign companies are allowed to be 100% foreign owned. There are, however, strict regulations on foreign ownership of property.
Doha Securities Market and the stock exchange handle stocks and securities, but the Security Market limits itself to Qatari values alone. The stock exchange is operating at levels of US$2 million per year.
Qatar is member of OPEC, GATT and is seeking membership in WTO.

Oil and Gas
Qatar is totally dependent on oil, but natural gas is a potential resource for the country because the North Dome Field is the third largest reserve for liquefied natural gas in the world. Qatar's reserves of oil are 15.2 billion barrels, and will with today's production levels last until 2045. Today's production levels are at 1.125 million barrels per day (2007 estimate).
Natural gas is produced at a level of 60 billion m per year. Gas reserves are about 26,000 billion m³, which accounts for a staggering 14% of world total.
Oil production represents about 85% of the total income of the country. The centre of the Qatari oil production is around Dukhan in the west, and there are one onshore and three offshore fields. Together with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar owns the Bundaq field.

Attempts to industrialize and diversify the economy has had only limited success. Most of the industrial activity is located around Umm Said. Industries include the production of cement, fertilizers, steel and petroleum. The steel production has been a success, and has produced a profit for the last 10 years.

Agriculture and Fishing
Agriculture is of miniscule importance, contributing to less than 2% of GNP, but there are governmental schemes to improve this through irrigation. Qatar produces about 50% of its own consumption of vegetables. Live stock includes 100,000 goats, 1,1 million sheep, 30,000 camels and 10,000 cattle. Fishing is at the level of 7,000 tons per year, principally shrimp, equalling 15 kg/inhabitant.

Efforts are being put into the development of tourism to Qatar. Tourism facilities are still mainly used by visitors coming to Qatar for business or other reasons. Being a country of little historical sights, few nature attractions, future Qatari tourism will mainly be that of sun, beach and entertainment.

Imports and Exports
Qatar's main export partners are other Asian countries, primarily Japan (40%), South Korea (20%) and Singapore (10%).
Main import partners are the USA (13%), Italy (11%), Japan (9%), France (8%) and Germany (7%).
The export balance for Qatar is quite incredible. For every 2 dollar spent on imports, Qatar exports products for 5 dollars. Surplus is US$37 billion, or US$45,000/capita.

Living standards
Qatar is probably the richest country in the world today with a GDP per capita that is 5 times that of Saudi Arabia. In 2008 GDP per capita passed US$100,000/capita.

State economy
The state economy of Qatar is very health, the state budgets have for the last decade run with very pleasant surpluses. In 2008, expenses were only 70% of revenues, creating a profit of US$12 billion, or US$14,000/capita. Budgetary profits are placed in savings, largely abroad.

Health of currency
The currency of Qatar is fixed to the US dollar. As of 2008, interest rates ranged between 3 and 6%.

By Tore Kjeilen